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    Paul Hartley previews Cup tie 

    Sunday, October 23, 2011 3:02:42 AM

    Today I would like to extend a warm welcome to Harry Cairney, Andy Aitken and the players, supporters and directors of Annan Athletic FC as they visit Recreation Park for the first time to play in a Scottish Cup Tie. Annan Athletic have been fantastic this season and Harry Cairney and his players deserve all the plaudits they have received for leading the Third Division after the first quarter and also reaching the semi-final of this season’s Ramsden’s Cup. Today’s game has been picked out by many as the tie of the William Hill Scottish Cup second round and is likely to be another hard fought game, it’s fair to say that there is not a much between the two teams, Annan play to their strengths with big strong players with a real determination not to get beat and have goals throughout the team in strikers Ian Harty and David Cox, while Scott Gibson continues to score important goals and was again on the scoresheet last week against Elgin City.
    Its a game we’ve been looking forward to, Scottish Cup ties are always special occasions, I’ve experienced plenty of them as a player and I’m hoping to do so again as manager.
    We couldn’t have asked for a tougher test today, than to play probably the strongest side who were in the draw, we relish the challenge however.

    Last Saturday we had loads of possession against Berwick Rangers but we could not quite find that second goal. The first goal was a terrific goal, great movement good football and a good finish from Graeme Holmes but we never really capitalised on it. I was very disappointed, I felt it was two points dropped. The hardest thing to do in football is score a goal, it has always been the hardest part of playing football, we have been working hard to rectify that at training this week, we will be ready.

    Today’s game is likely to be decided with one piece of individual skill or a mistake being the deciding factor, I know that every player who is selected to play today will give everything in trying to win this match. We also need your support, supporters can create a special atmosphere on Scottish Cup days, your backing does give the players a boost and drives them on and together, hopefully we can enjoy a successful outcome.

    Enjoy the game

    Paul Hartley


    Managers Corner